I Resolve

Ok, here we go with a brand, spankin’ new year.  I’m a bit late as I finished last year and began this year on Maui.  It seemed like the perfect place to wind down and oh-by-the way return to the scene of our wedding 25 years ago.  Yep, a quarter century of laughing, loving and raising two boys to men.  We zip-lined, snorkeled, hiked, laid around, ate and drank.  It was a pretty great way to bring in 2011.  And did I mention it was my wife’s 50th birthday on New Year’s Eve?  People around the world all celebrating Barbara’s birth.   Imagine that.

I’m not a big resolution guy.  While I have made a few vague resolutions about losing weight occasionally, for the most part I’ve been satisfied just turning the page and see what the next year has in store.  I’m pretty happy in the now because I’ve learned it helps me get the most out of each day. 

Yet, while I’m still mostly a now guy, I would like to make one commitment for the future:  Be Better

Being better will cover a range of things over the course of 2011, but today it starts with being healthier.  It’s not like I’m a big fat tub of goo but I could stand to lose some weight…like about 25 pounds.  I saw a guy the other day with a BIF (Butt In Front).  You’ve all seen him…he has a huge gut hanging over his belt which has dropped down several inches yet he still can claim a perfect 34 inch waist.  That could be me in a few years if I don’t do something now.

Actually I started to have Sweat Dreams.  Those were ones in which I woke up all sweaty after dreaming about getting laughed out of Men’s Wearhouse when George wouldn’t guarantee it.    After a few dreams like these I decided to join the local YMCA.  Just before Christmas I went in for the first time.    It wasn’t my first experience with a fitness club.  Years ago I joined one in Seattle that was supposedly the hippest health club around.  Lots of people wearing color coordinated  $1,000 outfits made of  silk or some kind of rare animal.  I quickly gravitated toward the juice bar and hung out there in my few remaining trips.  I did keep the membership for a long time after I quit going.  That allowed me to write big monthly checks and tell people I was a member of a health club.

My YMCA has a swimming pool, basketball court, racquetball courts and several empty rooms where I see people writhing around on mats and groaning.  I’m afraid to ask what they are doing.  My go-to place is the Torture Chamber.  In here there are a bunch of machines that allow me to self-inflict pain in a bunch of different ways.  That includes the treadmill, stationary bike, rowing machine, cross trainer, something called an elliptical machine, free weights and a bunch of equipment that stretches, pulls and otherwise horrifies different muscles.  Oh, and there are a LOT of mirrors.  That way I can see everything jiggle from every angle.

Before the vacation I went in a few times to familiarize myself with the equipment.  I tried them all…except the elliptical…it terrifies me.  I think that’s for graduate school.  The machines measure heart rate, calorie burn, RPMs, elapsed time and mileage.  It did sort of worry me that the treadmill has an emergency stop button.  When I was thrown from the treadmill taking off my sweatshirt I understood the value of the stop button.  There are no gauges or measure of pain.  Couldn’t there be some kind of visual like a thermometer that registers each level of pain as I go through it?  I mean I take as much pride from pain endurance as I do from calorie burn…and I truly understand the pain thresholds.

  I will post in the future under the Sweat Dreams title and tell you of my progress and about the fantastic people watching.   For example, the woman next to me today was wearing clogs.  Uh, are clogs even footwear?   Maybe she’s one of those clog dancers and this is her warmup.  And there was a guy wearing a flannel shirt, canvas pants and work boots.   He got off his walker and climbed onto one of the muscle machines and worked it.   Kicked my ass.  I wonder if Nordstrom sells his workout outfit?

So my resolve this year is to be better in mnany different ways.   Hopefully over the course of future PS postage I will be able to tell you all about my getting healthier and a few other things along the way that will make this a great year.

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